Human Resources and Operations Associate - J-PAL North America

  • United States of America
Start Date (Earliest):

About J-PAL North America

J-PAL North America, an economics research center at MIT, is actively recruiting for a Human Resources and Operations Associate (MIT job Human Resources Administrator 1). Working at J-PAL North America means being part of a vibrant, collaborative team of professionals who are committed to translating research into innovative policy solutions that are effective in reducing poverty. As a regional office of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), J-PAL North America is part of a network of more than 900 researchers at universities around the world, including some of the world’s leading economics researchers. J-PAL North America works closely with J-PAL’s global headquarters and six additional independent regional offices in Africa, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia to generate cutting-edge research, policy outreach, and training. This position is based on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts and provides a hybrid work schedule with some days in the office and some days remote.   

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

At J-PAL North America we understand that inequity is often institutionalized into policies and systems, and that these inequities contribute to cycles of poverty and a lack of opportunity for a great portion of the population, particularly women, people of color and other marginalized populations. We approach our work with the following staff values and are actively engaged in creating a diverse, inclusive and equitable culture where everyone can feel a sense of belonging and effectively contribute to the work. We seek applicants with diverse backgrounds and lived experiences that can help to broaden our perspective and approach to economics research and policy. To learn more about our work and team culture, visit

Opportunity Overview

As a member of the J-PAL North America team, you’ll be part of a Nobel-prize winning scientific movement that can transform US policy making. The Human Resources & Operations Associate works under the supervision of the Human Resources Manager to coordinate human resources activities. They also work closely with the Director of Finance & Operations to ensure the smooth functioning of the Finance & Operations team and support the operations of J-PAL North America. Recruitment, onboarding, internal meeting and events coordination, and other human resources activities make up a significant portion of this role, and there is also the opportunity to engage in a range of special HR and organizational-level projects. For this position, we are looking for candidates with some general HR experience and knowledge, excellent attention to detail, strong organizational, time-management, and oral and written communication skills. Experience in Salesforce, Asana or other project management systems, is also preferred.

Key Responsibilities

Human Resources Administration (70%)

  • Facilitates the recruitment process by posting jobs, coordinating interviews and conducting reference checks. Schedules interviews, screens resumes, and prepares interview documentation. Interfaces with temporary agencies as needed regarding hiring of temporary employees.
  • Processes HR transactions such as hires, transfers, leaves of absence, and salary changes.
  • Coordinates with hiring managers and the onboarding working group to plan and implement onboarding of interns and employees, including scheduling onboarding sessions, setting up employee workstations, preparing welcome kits, and managing physical access to the office.
  • Advises terminating employees and their supervisors on required offboarding activities and supports the administration of exit interview surveys.   
  • Works with members of J-PAL North America’s senior leadership team as appropriate to identify and coordinate internal staff meetings, training, retreats, and other internal staff events.
  • Assists with the development of staff meeting presentations and surveys and prepares presentations. Presents to staff on HR and facilities related topics as needed.
  • Coordinates DEI Working group meetings and assists in the development and implementation of programs and processes that promote a diverse and inclusive workforce. 
  • Assists in the design and administration of rewards & recognition programs and related staff events. 
  • Advises staff on HR issues, policies, and procedures. Escalates as appropriate to HR Manager or Director of Finance & Operations.
  • Contributes to knowledge management and maintenance of HR and Operations guides, documentation and files.
  • Collects and compiles a range of HR information for data tracking and analysis using Salesforce, Excel, or other databases. Generates reports as needed. Identifies trends and shares findings as appropriate.
  • Serves as J-PAL North America’s emergency officer, including maintaining an emergency plan for the office and training staff at least annually.
  • Manages daily office operations. Escalates issues as appropriate to HR Manager or Director of Finance & Operations.

Operations (30%)

As part of the Finance & Operations team, coordinates and performs day-to-day operational activities for J-PAL North America, including any combination of administration, finance, information technology (IT), compliance, communications and outreach, and other functions.

  • Works closely with the Director of Finance & Operations to plan and coordinate F&O team activities. Serves as a resource to others regarding F&O team activities and processes. Contributes insight to F&O project plans and strategy.
  • Performs activities such as monitoring progress towards J-PAL North America’s strategic plan to meet plan objectives and deadlines. 
  • Develops and tracks key metrics. 
  • Provides research, analysis, and project management support on special human resources, office culture, finance, fundraising, and organizational level projects as needed.
  • Serves as a contact with internal and/or external stakeholders to ensure achievement of deliverables. 
  • Prepares required program/project documentation and reporting. Produces reports and charts as needed.
  • Participates in the design and development of knowledge resources and management. Helps maintain systems to keep information organized. Initiates changes and updates to policy and procedure documents. Organizes documents in Google drive and assists with F&O knowledge management. Contributes to maintaining an updated Knowledge Base.
  • Writes content for and designs presentation materials. Manages contact records and enters relationship histories into Salesforce as needed.
  • Coordinates senior leadership and Scientific Director calls and related activities. 
  • Manages day-to-day office operations, including purchasing of special supplies and facilities management responsibilities.  Trains staff as needed on finance and operations topics.
  • Performs other duties as assigned. 

Compensation & Benefits

This full-time, exempt position is classified by MIT as a Human Resources Administrator 1, SRS, and has a grade 6 salary level. Current MIT salary levels are publicly available at tps://

This is a fixed market-based salary range that is based on experience.

J-PAL North America staff are MIT employees, which means they are eligible for a wide array of institutional benefits. Some of these MIT benefits include comprehensive health insurance, a 401(k) match up to 5% of salary plus a pension-based retirement plan, tuition assistance up to $5,250 per calendar year, commuter benefits, access to MyLifeServices, a generous vacation policy (3 weeks of paid vacation in your first year, and 4 weeks every year after that, plus an additional 12+ paid Institute-wide holidays per year and an end of year break), paid leave for sick time, maternity and parental leave, back-up child care benefits and much more.

Professional Development Opportunities

J-PAL North America supports a culture of learning, with opportunities to attend weekly seminars, engage in small-group discussions with other J-PAL staff, participate in workshops, or take classes for credit at MIT or elsewhere with our generous tuition assistance program.  


  • Education: This position requires a bachelor's degree or equivalent experience
  • Experience: 2 years of human resources or related experience required
  • Technical Skills: Actively demonstrates the skills necessary to successfully execute tasks to which they are assigned. Ability to use Microsoft office and/or Google applications and willingness to learn new applications, such as MIT’s HR systems, is required. Knowledge of Salesforce and Asana (or other project management systems) is helpful.
  • Ownership of Work: Takes responsibility/is accountable for effectively completing assigned discrete tasks or projects with high attention to detail. Produces high quality work in the time expected; identifies and follows up with manager and other stakeholders as needed to ensure assignments are completed on time. Takes initiative and offers ideas for new ways to approach work.
  • Written Communication: Accurately and succinctly communicates in writing, including the ability to draft grammatically correct, cohesive emails, memos and reports, and prepare content for slides, proposals and publications. 
  • Oral Communication: Demonstrates strong active listening skills and accurately and succinctly communicates information orally to staff and other key stakeholders. 
  • Task & Project Management: Takes on a process-oriented task, plans and organizes work, coordinates with others, establishes appropriate priorities and timelines, exercises follow through, and adds overall value to the process. 
  • Problem Solving/Decision Making: Demonstrates adeptness at analyzing facts, judgment, and strong decision-making ability. Responds to problems, issues, and opportunities that are identified by supervisors. Collaborates to identify a solution or response.  
  • Commitment to Mission & Values: Demonstrates interest in poverty alleviation in the North American (primarily the United States) context in particular. Demonstrates a commitment to J-PAL North America’s values.

How to Apply

Ready to join a team of collaborative, inclusive, and inquisitive colleagues? Apply now. 

This position will be based at J-PAL North America’s offices on MIT’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts and will have a hybrid schedule, with some days in the office and some remote.

This position is not eligible for any type of visa sponsorship.

Submit an application for this Human Resources & Operations role via MIT’s human resources system. Visit, search for job ID 24064 (Human Resources Administrator), and complete an application. 

In a single PDF uploaded to the resume field, please include:

  1. A cover letter which highlights: 
    1. Your qualifications for this role, and how they have prepared you to be an effective Human Resources & Operations Associate
    2. Your interest in our mission of poverty alleviation in the North America region, especially in the US, including any professional, educational, or volunteer experiences that demonstrate your commitment to our mission
    3. Optional- Please consider sharing how your personal lived experience or personal identities, beyond your professional or educational experience, contribute to your interest and insight into J-PAL North America’s anti-poverty work.

Please note that in addition to addressing these prompts, your cover letter will be evaluated as a writing sample for this role and we will be reviewing it to see if your interest in our work and qualifications for this role are clearly communicated.

2. Resume

Should you need a reasonable accommodation to fully participate in our employee selection process, please contact Isaak Kifle, Human Resources Manager at [email protected] or (617) 715-5844.

We will begin reviewing applications on a rolling basis as we receive them. Short-listed applicants will be asked to complete a technical exercise and phone interview. Finalists will be called for a final interview and have references checked.

MIT is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.